Like many people my age, the last decade has resulted in a wickedly intense aura of being lost. Because of the economic rollercoaster and drastically fast pace of technology since 9/11, not to mention facing incredible turmoil in the realms of public opinion and civil rights, people between the Gen-Xers and Millennials feel kind of…washed away to sea.
Sure, some of us have careers and children and whathaveyous. But the rest of us…What else could we do except struggle to pay bills, possibly file bankruptcy, and do our best to live in the moment? In the midst of scrambling to put our lives and affairs in order, some of us gave up our passions and dreams just in order not to be homeless.
That’s exactly what I did. I regret nothing, mind you. I had some relationships, and I learned a lot about this neck of the world and its people. Granted, millions of others have had harder hardships or higher highs. And I make no excuses for my poor choices. They were mine alone, and without them I wouldn’t be me.
The dreams are still there. I don’t have a bucket list per se, just a bunch of shit I really want to do. Yet I spent far too much of the past decade or more trying to live for other people. It came with a heaping dose of selfish behavior; being there for one person meant others fell away from my purview for a while. The cycle raged for quite some time. Frankly I’m surprised some of those people didn’t give up on me altogether.
All this is a melodramatic way of saying: “I’m tired of not indulging in my nerdy ways.” Let’s face it: Being a nerd takes time and money. I was always jealous of the nerdy folks who chatted with me about ALL THE THINGS, and I couldn’t follow their name-dropping or crossovers or—worst of all—get excited with them about the stuff we mutually liked.
GUYZ. THAT’S CHANGING.
It’s not a New Year’s resolution. It’s been a gradual process over the past several months. Not going to lie, staying single has helped tremendously.
Problem One: No money for a comic habit.
Always a struggle. I want to support good artists and writers who continuously provide amazing stories and help to change the conversations in our culture. So, no, I won’t pirate if I can help it. Suddenly, a wild lifelong friend appears! She made me borrow stuff. I ATE IT ALL WITH SPORKS. Soon after was a financial dry season. And now it’s not so dry! And now I can do really awesomely nerdy things like go to a G. Willow Wilson signing at a comic shop! And my nerdgirl heart goes SQUEEE!! *Ahem* $68 later…
Problem Two: I always thought of travel as something I could never budget. Like it’s this exotic thing only people who make bunches of money get to do.
I’m not talking about huge vacations or even work trips. I’m talking about, “Hey let’s do a quick weekend over to a place fairly close by.” As a mostly-obsessive planner, I never allowed myself the opportunity to just go DO IT. I live in a springboard of a city, and so many cool places are within reach. But do I go? Nah. Always too expensive, always wondering if I’ll still afford rent, always an excuse. Maybe I’m not quite there yet, but being surrounded by friends who mostly don’t seem to let money get in the way of fun helps.
Problem Three: How can I turn the stuff I love into a thing I do for money?
Um. Hmm. Yeah, I still don’t have the details on this fleshed out yet. WHO CARES?? It was a painful realization, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that how I get paid does not define me. I mean, yes, I have work standards, and there are some things I’m not willing to do no matter how much cash it would mean. So what? There finally, at long last, seems to be a place in life where I miiiiiiiggggghhhhtt not have to live to work, and can instead strike a sort of balance involving my interests and my job(s).
In less than a week, this almost-grownup fangirl is headed to Beverly Hills for the West Coast premiere of Batman: Bad Blood. DC Universe animated films might not be your thing; hell, it’s hardly a thing among most folks I know. BUT FOR ORACLE’S SAKE I’M EXCITED!! Mostly because when I interviewed Sean Maher back in 2014 at Steamposium, I about swooned for dear life when he mentioned he’d be voicing Nightwing. And this is that movie. And he’ll be at the premiere. ACK!
Because it’s the first time I let myself stfu and live. Can I still pay rent? No idea. Will I network with potentially influential people? Don’t care. Am I getting paid to do it? Hell no.
It’s taken an exhaustingly long time to get to this point. Thankfully I didn’t need a Lion King moment of remembering my roots to get here. Though it happened anyway, kind of. The people I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with have been successful in finding their geeky niches, and that alone was enough to make me excited again about cartoons and comic books. Playing games with them, attending conventions, discussing the stories we love…it’s pretty fantastic. We’re living in a wonderful time to be nerdy.
Also, I really hope I get to attend the premiere of Batman:The Killing Joke, too.
“Joy. It’s been a long time since I thought of my powers that way. …I feel free.”~Vixen, Return of the Lion.